The Art of Body Language
As someone who works in the communications field, I have learned how important body language is as communication tool. Most people do not even realize how much they are giving away about their attitude, mood or personality just from their body language alone.
Being aware and in control of your own body language as well as being able to read and interpret other people’s will give you a great advantage in any situation. Having a basic understanding of body language can help you improve your communication skills and become an expert in interpreting what others are thinking and feeling.
Here are several things that everyone should know about body language:
- There are eight key elements of body language: face, eyes, posture, gestures, voice, movement, touch and appearance.
- We tend to mirror other’s behavior. For example, when you nod at someone, nine times out of ten they will nod back. When you and your audience interact like this they are more receptive to your ideas.
- Using gestures makes you smarter. Whenever you incorporate gestures into your delivery it makes you use better words and develop clearer thoughts. However, remember to use natural gestures so they do not look forced.
- Make eye contact when you speak. This seems like an obvious one, but you would be surprised at how many people forget to do this. Failing to make eye contact can make you seem uninterested, nervous, or even evasive. If you know you have trouble maintaining eye contact try to think before you start speaking, or even take a moment to gather your thoughts if necessary.
- This one may be surprising to some – your feet subconsciously point in the direction you want to go. Next time you are in a conversation with someone, pay attention to your feet as well as the other person’s so you can tell where you both really want to be.
At the next meeting you are in, pay attention to the unspoken clues your coworkers and clients are sending and let us know how you’ve incorporated these tips in your daily life!
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